Kislak Center
for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts

Detail of interior photograph of the Gilbert Luber Gallery (ca. 1980s), courtesy of Shirley Luber

Goldstein Family Gallery

Representing Modern Japan:
The Luber Collection of Art Books

March 16 - June 12, 2015

The Luber Collection is a multi-lingual selection of over 1,300 volumes on Japanese art, art history, and culture from the premodern period to the 1990s. A strength of this collection is its emphasis on 20th-century Japanese printing and other art forms. Representing Modern Japan focuses on books about contemporary Japanese printing and introduces various styles of hanga, or woodblock prints, spanning the 20th century. The exhibit also reflects the variety and breadth of the Luber Gallery's collecting and sales of 20th-century artists' prints. Visitors will encounter a range of individuals and techniques, as well as the Lubers' personal connections to those artists in the latter half of the 20th century. The Luber Collection of Art Books was presented to Penn Libraries in 2012. For more information.

Recent acquisition

No more "Dancing on the Ropes, and Bear-baitings" as of 1647 in London. The Kislak Center's new featured acquisition (PN2044.G7 G7 1647) was the second attempt within a space of 5 years to close down the theaters in London. Earlier, in 1642 the Puritans, led by Oliver Cromwell, took over the English Parliament and forced King Charles I to flee London, initiating the English Civil war. In that year parliament also issued an ordinance forbidding "stage-plays" on the grounds that they were "spectacles of pleasure, too commonly expressing lascivious mirth and levity" and therefore unsuited to England "threatened with a cloud of blood by a civil war." Many theaters were torn down, including the Globe in 1644. However, in 1647, a new order became necessary. This order was in reaction to theatrical troupes who saw a loophole in the1642 prohibition of "stage-plays," and attempted to pass rope dancing entertainments and the ever-popular bear baiting (something like a very rough form of bull fighting, but with a bear) as spectacles not specifically forbidden in the 1642 ordinance. Today, in the weeks around Shakespeare's 451st birthday on April 23rd, we can look back on the 1647 order as an unfortunate part of theater history, but also as evidence of the determination of theatrical artists to find ways to continue putting on a show, for the show must go on!